Night Sky's Edge




Introduction

Hello, everyone. Some of you may know me from my high level of activity in the RMT forum, in which I spend a great deal of time browsing and rating teams. Despite this, I have yet to actually post a recent team of my own. I suppose I was waiting for “the perfect team,” but I’ve come to realize that no such thing exists. No matter how well-constructed a combination of Pokemon might be, there will always be problems and weak areas to address. The true competitive nature of this game stems from the individual’s ability to overcome such difficulties through a combination of solid team-building and intelligent playing. Even seemingly insurmountable obstacles can be broken through with the right amount of prediction and knowledge. As such, Pokemon is truly a game in which skill plays a vital role, much more so than I had initially anticipated.

I started working on this particular team shortly after my graduation from Smogon’s Battling 101 program under the tutelage of Setsuna. He was really the one who taught me about effective team-building, and I have much to owe him for his support. Setsuna also got me started with bulky offense; I would soon come to favor this playstyle above all others for its unique combination of offensive play and entry hazard support. The concept of the team is quite simple: stack layers of entry hazards, force switches to rack up damage, and clean up the opponent’s team with a combination of threatening sweepers. Although I initially meant for the team to be focused around Superachi, many of the team’s members are perfectly capable of sweeping on their own. As such, if I play correctly, I can generally maintain enough pressure on the opponent during the match to ultimately ensure victory.


In-Depth

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Skarmory @ Leftovers
Ability: Keen Eye
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpD / 4 Spe
Impish nature (+Def, -SpA)
- Roost
- Spikes
- Stealth Rock
- Whirlwind[/box]
Summary

After playing with just about every commonly used OU lead, I can safely say that Skarmory is quite easily my preferred choice for the position. Due to its access to both Stealth Rock and Spikes, as well as a form of recovery and a phazing move, Skarmory is often able to net me a favorable advantage over my opponent when played correctly. Multiple layers of entry hazards are not too difficult to lay down with Skarmory’s great amount of bulk, and it can often switch in on physical attackers during later stages of the match to phaze away opponents and spread entry hazard damage. However, because of the complexity of Skarmory’s role as a lead, it can be somewhat difficult to play with. I tend to be very conservative at the beginning of matches, ensuring that Skarmory stays alive so that I can get up Stealth Rock and preferably as many layers of Spikes as possible, which benefit the team’s ability to sweep immensely. After I finish setting up my entry hazards, Skarmory’s survivability becomes much less of an issue, although I like to keep it alive for as long as possible so that I can continue to abuse my hazards with Whirlwind.

Due to the shift from the Dragon / Steel - based teams that were present in the Latias and Salamence metagame to the current Fire / Water / Grass cores, I tend to see a lot more Infernape and Heatran leads than before. This puts some pressure on me at the beginning of the match, but I have enough solid switch-ins to deal with them fairly well, and I can often play around unfavorable lead match-ups if I think carefully. Machamp is also somewhat problematic, but it is fortunately becoming much less common as most experienced battlers have long since adjusted their teams to deal with it. My favorite opposing leads to see at the beginning of the match include Metagross and just about any bulky Ground-types. In these situations, I usually get Stealth Rock and at least one layer of Spikes up, which is already enough to apply pressure on the opponent.

Details

I chose a simple 252 / 252 spread emphasizing SpD to maintain a balance between physical and special bulk. The EVs in Special Defense often prove very useful, allowing me to set up on weak or resisted special attacks. Although the presence of both Stealth Rock and Spikes on Skarmory’s moveset does put quite a bit of pressure on me to successfully get entry hazards down, I chose to make the decision mainly so that my other Pokemon could execute their roles more effectively, since none of them would have to waste a moveslot for Stealth Rock. Roost provides reliable and indispensable recovery, while Whirlwind is a great move for racking up residual damage on my opponent. On bulky offensive teams utilizing entry hazards, I like to have around two team members with access to phazing moves, and Skarmory performs admirably in this regard. As for the item choice, I feel that Leftovers is consistently the most effective item for Skarmory, as the extra recovery it provides is often very useful. Magnezone does tend to be an annoyance, but it is rare enough in my experience not to warrant the use of Shed Shell.

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Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 248 HP / 132 SpD / 128 Spe
Calm nature (+SpD, -Atk)
- Rest
- Lava Plume
- Roar
- Sleep Talk[/box]
Summary

Heatran may be the #1 Pokemon in OU, but it possesses a great enough variety of sets to prevent it from becoming overly predictable. Specially-defensive RestTalk happens to be my favorite Heatran set by far, as it gives me an incredibly bulky second phazer. Troublesome threats such as Zapdos, Jolteon, and even Raikou are all checked quite handily by Heatran. I also get to surprise opposing Pokemon such as Scizor, Skarmory, and Forretress by using Roar rather than a Fire-type attack. With some prediction, I can cause the opponent to accumulate quite a bit of damage from Stealth Rock and Spikes throughout the course of the match. Probably the most important role that Heatran plays on this team is that of a status-absorber; this helps immensely against status-inducing foes such as Breloom or Roserade, ensuring that I don’t lose too much offensive momentum. For example, when matched up against Roserade leads, I typically switch to Heatran to take the Sleep Powder, then switch back to Skarmory to get some entry hazards. The use of both Sleep Talk and Roar on the same set, in tandem with Heatran’s decent speed, allows this set to function as a decent “speed-shuffler.” Slower opponents can find it difficult to deal with Heatran, as it can abuse Sleep Talk’s neutral priority by outspeeding and phazing foes before they can make a move.

Details

The EVs and nature emphasize Heatran’s special bulk. With a Calm nature and the given EVs, Heatran is capable of taking most neutral hits and even some super effective Water attacks from the likes of Vaporeon and Suicune. This allows me to switch in quite often to check specially-based threats, using Roar to force switches. Just to put things into perspective, Heatran isn’t even 3HKO’d by defensive variants of Rotom and Zapdos, letting me abuse Sleep Talk and Roar quite effectively. Lava Plume is the only attacking move on the moveset, but it happens to be the only one that I need in general. It still hits quite hard as a STAB move off Heatran’s high base Special Attack stat, and its 30% burn rate is very helpful for crippling common switch-ins such as Tyranitar or Gyarados. Roar is probably the most useful move, as it allows me to damage opposing teams with residual damage from Stealth Rock and Spikes. The RestTalk combination boosts Heatran’s level of survivability and allows it to absorb status freely. Leftovers further adds to this set’s durability by giving it some useful recovery over the long run.

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Gengar @ Black Sludge
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Substitute
- Hypnosis
- Shadow Ball
- Focus Blast[/box]
Summary

When Gengar is sent out, opponents instinctively think of the SubSplit set, and with good reason. SubSplit Gengar is a major threat to both offensive and stall teams alike, capable of dishing out major damage and recovering lost health with Pain Split. However, I wanted to try something a bit different here, and instead opted for Hypnosis over Pain Split and Black Sludge over Life Orb. While Hypnosis may seem a rather gimmicky move choice for Gengar, consider the following: Hypnosis has a 60% chance of hitting. Most of the time, Gengar will be fast enough to get at least two opportunities to attack, oftentimes from behind a substitute. This means that Hypnosis essentially has an 84% chance to hit if I manage to get two tries in. Additionally, many of Gengar’s common switch-ins do not appreciate being put to sleep. In many situations, I can take advantage of this by setting up another Substitute and proceeding to sweep. Gengar tends to induce quite a bit of switching, which allows me to rack up further entry hazard damage on my opponents. It also adds some useful immunities to Normal-, Ground-, and Fighting-based attacks, which help it synergize well with the rest of the team.

Details

The EV spread and moveset listed are relatively simple. 252 / 252 is pretty much the only set for Gengar to utilize, as maximum Special Attack and Speed are more important than any other stats. As mentioned earlier, the moveset is remarkably similar to that of the SubSplit set. Substitute is a wonderful move on Gengar, allowing me to ease prediction, scout switch-ins, and protect myself from priority attacks. Shadow Ball and Focus Blast both hit hard even without Life Orb, and provide unresisted coverage when used together. Finally, Hypnosis rounds out the set by putting to sleep any of Gengar’s traditional “counters,” and generally putting additional pressure on the opponent. Black Sludge is basically the same as Leftovers, and gives me a means of recovery since I’m not running Pain Split. Although Gengar lacks an actual recovery move, I usually find that I can keep it at good health despite its frailty. Substitute and Hypnosis work admirably together in this regard, making it difficult for opponents to actually land an attack on Gengar.

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Kingdra @ Chesto Berry
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 144 HP / 160 Atk / 42 SpD / 164 Spe
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Dragon Dance
- Outrage
- Rest
- Waterfall[/box]
Summary

ChestoRest Kingdra isn’t quite as unexpected as it was when I originally made this team, but it still serves a very useful purpose. Kingdra possesses a rather unique typing that allows it to set up against both Fire- and Water-types, which circumvents the need for a Grass-type on this team. It also functions as my main switch-in to LO Starmie, which tends to be a nightmare for most entry hazard-abusing teams to deal with. Kingdra’s resistances are invaluable for this team. Heatran deals negligible damage, although I must be wary of Explosion (which is often easy to predict around). Bulky waters such as Suicune and Vaporeon are basically set-up bait for ChestoRest Kingdra, allowing me to gain some stat boosts and tear holes through opposing teams. I’m quite sure that most people are familiar with how this set is played, but I’ll go into it in detail. Kingdra should be switched into Pokemon that cannot significantly damage it, such as LO Starmie and most bulky Water-types. At this point, I begin trying to accumulate as many Dragon Dances as possible, ignoring any status ailments or damage. When Kingdra has reached the lowest amount of health possible, Rest is used to recover off any damage and status, preparing for a sweep. In certain situations, I may decide to get in a couple more stat boosts, but it all depends on which opposing Pokemon I happen to be facing. Due to this set’s tendency to net several boosts, even defensively bulky foes such as Skarmory or Metagross can take quite a bit of damage, especially after switching into Stealth Rock / Spikes. I also like how Kingdra manages to lure in opposing Scarf Flygon, some of which panic and use Outrage immediately in hopes of a kill. This just opens up opportunities either for Skarmory to switch in and lay down some more entry hazards, or for Heatran to come in and do some more phazing. Kingdra also often lures out and damages or eliminates Steel-types, allowing Flygon to clean out opposing teams with Outrage.

Details

Kingdra has what is probably the most complicated set of EVs on this team, but they are specifically fine-tuned for survivability. The points in HP and Special Defense prevent it from being 2HKO’d by either LO Starmie or +1 Offensive Suicune, allowing me to safely set up on both. 164 EVs in speed are just enough to outspeed Jolly Scarf Flygon after two Dragon Dances, taking out one of the most popular checks to Jirachi. The remainder is put into Attack to boost Kingdra’s damage output. An Adamant nature is preferred since Kingdra appreciates as much power as it can get. Being outsped by faster Heatran can be a bit annoying, but they are typically quite easy to deal with as they either switch out or use Explosion (prompting me to switch to Gengar). The moveset is simple, but very effective. Waterfall and Outrage make for an outstanding STAB combination, resisted by almost nothing in OU. Dragon Dance is an excellent stat-boosting move, increasing both speed and power to aid Kingdra in sweeping through opposing teams. Rest is mostly a one-time use, but the total recovery it provides is essential in allowing Kingdra to set up.

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Flygon @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly nature (+Spe, -SpA)
- Earthquake
- Outrage
- ThunderPunch
- U-turn[/box]
Summary

Choice Scarf Flygon is a Pokemon that I’m sure all of you are very familiar with by now. Despite the fact that it tends to be very predictable, Flygon occupies a very useful niche on this team for its ability to revenge kill any major threats and scout the opponent’s team with U-turn. As an added bonus, Flygon tends to force a lot of switches, allowing me to further wear my opponents down with damage from Spikes and Stealth Rock. One of the main advantages Flygon has over other Scarf users is its relative immunity to entry hazards: it is completely unaffected by Spikes and Toxic Spikes, and possesses a neat resistance to Stealth Rock as well. This ensures that Flygon tends to survive for the bulk of the match, and is therefore still around at the end when I use it to clean up any remaining Pokemon on the opponent’s team. Current teams usually have far fewer Steel-types than older ones did, which means that Flygon is often safe to use Outrage during later stages of the game, especially after Kingdra has lured out and damaged the Steel-types that the opponent does have. In fact, Flygon happens to make a very effective late-game sweeping partner for Kingdra. After opposing Steels have been weakened or eliminated, Flygon is safe to abuse Outrage without fear of being locked into a resisted move.

Details

The EVs, moveset, and item choice are all very standard. A Jolly nature with max speed is useful for outspeeding threats such as Agiligross and SubPetaya Empoleon, as well as +2 Adamant bulky Gyarados. U-turn is the most-used move on this set, allowing me to scout opposing switch-ins and force more entry hazard damage. Earthquake is quite a troublesome move to be locked into, but it is useful as an emergency check to threats such as Jolteon, and can provide some useful revenge killing utility. Thunderpunch was chosen to allow Flygon to reliably check DD Gyarados, who could otherwise sweep through my team quite easily. Finally, Outrage is easily my favorite move on this set, as it has netted me several successful late-game sweeps. Flygon’s speed and access to a 120 BP STAB attack are enough to clean out most opponents during later portions of the match, especially when I have worn down their teams with entry hazard damage and hard-hitting sweepers.

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Jirachi @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Calm Mind
- Psychic
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power Ground[/box]
Summary

And here we have the star of the show. As you may or may not be aware of already, Jirachi happens to be my favorite Pokemon in OU, and I tend to be somewhat of a Jirachi purist in terms of the teams I use. In this case, I wanted to utilize Jirachi as a specially-based late-game sweeper with an unexpected set. After considering various options, I decided on the new Superachi set for my team, which also happens to work very well with Spikes support. Due to Jirachi’s bulk and excellent typing, it can often find multiple opportunities to begin setting up on the opponent. The sheer surprise factor of the Superachi set allows me to take down several would-be counters, notably Heatran. Jirachi also has the secondary role of functioning as a check to Lucario, who would otherwise be quite difficult to deal with (especially Bullet Punch variants). I try to hold off Jirachi until as late in the game as possible, when the opposing team is severely weakened from entry hazard damage and attacks from my other team members. This gives it the best possible chance of sweeping through opponents with its access to Calm Mind and surprisingly good coverage. If Jirachi can’t get the job done, it can usually at least take out enough obstacles to allow either Flygon or Gengar to clean up. Overall, the Superachi set has been excellent and very fun to play with, particularly when I can set up the right conditions for it to sweep.

Details

Yet another 252 / 252 spread, along with a Timid nature to maximize Jirachi’s speed. There are a couple of other EV sets that I’ve experimented with, but I prefer this one for both its simplicity and its efficacy. In regards to Jirachi's item, I tend to alternate between Shuca Berry and Leftovers. While Leftovers does provide me with useful recovery, Shuca Berry has the added and often unprecedented advantage of insuring me against Scarf Flygon. Earthquake will fail to OHKO Shuca Jirachi, giving me an extra precaution against a very common revenge killer. Jirachi also has access to a wide, varied movepool, making it a bit difficult to choose the best options. In the end, I settled for what I believed to be the attacks with the highest base power and best coverage. Calm Mind is essential of course, as I needed a stat-boosting move to sweep through opponents. It bolsters Jirachi’s already formidable defense, allowing it to set up on a number of slower and weaker special attackers. Psychic is Jirachi’s strongest STAB move, complete with 90 base power and a 10% chance to lower the target’s Special Defense stat. Thunderbolt actually provides good type coverage with Psychic, allowing me to hit opponents like Skarmory for super effective damage. It also allows Jirachi to check Gyarados before a Dragon Dance, which is useful considering that I don’t have Rotom on this team. Hidden Power Ground fills out the last slot, netting unexpected OHKOs on Heatran and Magnezone. Unfortunately, Celebi walls this moveset completely and can use Thunder Wave to cripple Jirachi, but I find that Celebi’s 4x weakness to U-turn and numerous weaknesses make it quite easy to eliminate earlier in the game. Jirachi has a number of other moveset options, but this seems to be quite an effective combination.


Conclusion

While I am posting this team publicly, I am not retiring it. 4th Gen is over when it’s over, not any time sooner. With that being said, this team has been thrilling to play with, and has allowed me to utilize some of my favorite Pokemon. It’s certainly not perfect; I’d even go so far as to say that it is significantly flawed. However, I enjoy playing around potential challenges, so it doesn’t bother me too much. I’m not quite as active in battling as I once was, considering that I spend much of my time rating teams and browsing the forums these days. Despite this, I will continue to use this team along with a couple of my others, most likely for the remainder of this generation.

I’d like to begin by extending my heartfelt thanks to a few specific users. These individuals have been great to work with, and I hope to see them with Smogon in the future. If you feel that you deserve a mention here, feel free to let me know and I may include you as well. Currently, the list consists of:

  • Aerrow
Probably the most detailed rater that I’ve ever seen. While I didn’t come to know you until relatively recently, I consider you probably the #1 team rater in terms of consistency. Keep up the good work!
  • Bloo
As one of the RMT forum’s active mods, Bloo should be well-known by everyone here. I wanted to let you know that I personally appreciate all the time and effort you put into managing this forum, which certainly is no easy task. Just remember, you and Haunter are likely the two most helpful individuals in RMT, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. Good job!
  • ENZ0
I had the opportunity to play against (and lose to) this skilled battler in the first round of the Second Chances tournament. ENZ0 also happens to be a tutor in B101, helping new battlers to learn more about the game. A very C00L individual!
  • Haunter
Haunter is the head moderator of RMT, as well as the TR badge leader. I remember how excited I was when I received my TR badge, and I wanted to thank you for your constant activity here. Definitely an underappreciated user, one who spends a great deal of time contributing to the site.
  • Heist
Heist is part of the group that I would consider the “current” active raters. Your suggestions are always detailed and helpful, and you’ve helped out a lot of teams. Just stay consistent, and I’m sure you’ll go far!
  • Kevin Garrett
THE best stall player. I spoke with you a bit on IRC about this team, and I really appreciated your advice. I also find it admirable that you've managed to remain so successful with a single team, and consider you among the best of Smogon.
  • Phillip7086
Back when I applied for Battling 101, Phil was the tutor that I originally requested. I’ve always been impressed with his teambuilding and battling skills, and to this day I consider him one of the very best battlers on Smogon. As of recently, you’ve gained even bigger duties as leader of 5th Gen policymaking, which is certainly a daunting role to fill. We all owe you for your contributions, and I personally hope that you’ll continue to stay at least somewhat active on Smogon for a long time. Don’t give up!
  • Scimjara
Back in the day, Scimjara was one of the most active and helpful team raters in the RMT forum. I’m sure you’ve moved onto other things (such as doing incredibly well in tournament play), but I’d be glad to see you again around here.
  • Setsuna
Setsuna definitely deserves special mention. As my B101 tutor, he taught me nearly everything I needed to know about teambuilding. Additionally, Setsuna was the one who got me started with rating teams, eventually leading to my receiving the TR badge. You’ve now advanced up the Smogon corporate ladder at a breakneck pace, gaining moderator status and several forms of recognition. Even now, I look up to you as a mentor, for which I owe you much thanks.


P.S. I was Setsuna’s best and most talented student (just kidding). I’m sure he cherishes all his students equally.
  • Smith
Smith has been here for a long, long time. Even before I started rating, I saw him here, helping people with their teams. I also consider you among the best of the current raters, and I’d like to wish you good luck in your future endeavors.
  • The LegendKiller
TLK was an excellent and detailed rater as well. Unfortunately, I don’t see you as much around here now! I’m not sure if you’ve just gotten more busy as of lately, but I definitely miss some of the comprehensive advice you used to give. Just don’t get discouraged; consistency pays off in the end.
 
Hey Faladran. This is a very solid team, and I think all of the team members really work well together.

One Pokemon that I can see being really annoying for you is Lead Infernape. I assume the best way to play it would be to come in with Flygon [on the Stealth Rock or Fire Blast] and U-turn, breaking its Sash. However, the question is, who do you U-turn to. Flygon's U-turn + Gengar's Shadow Ball never KO, and I doubt you would risk your Gengar over a 60% chance. I suppose you could go to Skarmory and hope the Infernape Fire Blasts again, but it could easily see through your plan. Although your best option is switching to Kingdra and taking around 50% from Close Combat, then switching to Gengar on the second Close Combat and finishing it off. However, outside of that, this team is not weak to any offensive threats at all. Outside of uncommon Pokemon such as Substitute / Thunderbolt / Hydro Pump / Pain Split Rotom-W @ Life Orb. Gengar does 2HKO your entire team, but honestly, it cannot really set-up a Substitute on anything at all, so it is not a threat. I think Calm Mind + Roar Suicune could be potentially annoying as well, because Skarmory is phazed first, you cannot set up on it with Kingdra and Jirachi gets phazed as you try to Calm Mind war it. Specs Kingdra is also a pretty huge threat to your team and you lose a Pokemon if you predict wrongly against it. These are all minor weaknesses anyway, and I think the biggest problem to this team is stall. Skarmory or Forretress are able to set up Spikes against 4/6 of your Pokemon. Forretress will also win the Spikes battle with a well-timed Payback on your switch to Gengar. Because you are using Superrachi, Blissey should be able to beat it 1 on 1, and currently you really don't have a huge shot at breaking through a simple combination of Forretress + Gyarados + Blissey, unless you predict well. An option, although you have to predict quite well, and you lose the safety of a Substitute, so ScarfTar is free to Pursuit you, is Explosion over Substitute on Gengar. If you were to make that change, changing natures and converting to a Life Orb would be a good idea. The standard stall team of Hippowdon, Gyarados, Forretress, Blissey, Rotom, Heatran or Tyranitar, is beaten pretty much single-handedly by Jirachi provided Blissey has been removed and Tyranitar / Heatran have been weakened. With Gengar using Explosion, you can quickly nab a KO on Blissey and open stall teams up to a Jirachi sweep. You could also try SubSplit, but I think Hypnosis would work much better on this team. I think all of the members are far too important to replace to help fix this slight stall weakness though..

Honestly, you can't really call this a rate. Its more just a post to say what you need to watch out for, and that you have a pretty good team on your hands.

Good team and good luck!

[edit:] A potential change could be to replace Gengar with a Scarf Rotom and use Mixed Flygon instead of the Scarfed variant you are using currently. Not only does Flygon threaten stall A LOT with its mixed attacking capibilities, it has the ability to lure in things like Skarmory, Bronzong, Roar Gyarados, Swampert and friends which all can be potentially 2HKOed. Bronzong depends on the spread and Gyarados depends if you have Stealth Rock up, inviting an easier opportunity for Kingdra to come in and sweep. Worth a consideration at least.
 
Thanks Heist! I appreciate the comprehensive rate and everything that you pointed out. Stall is admittedly troublesome, especially considering that Superachi is my main sweeper and I have nothing to take Blissey out directly. I really like the idea of trying out Explosion on Gengar, but I'm going to hold off on any changes until I hear from a few others. Aerrow also requested that I not alter anything until he gets here, lol.
 
Aw I got a shout-out, lovely. Thanks man. I'm not going to lie, this looks a lot like an updated Whispers in the Dark, but hey it certainly works, great minds think alike? I'm also pretty sure this was the team you used against me in the BST tournament, and obviously it's hard to provide a rate for something like this- I mean, how do you rate a raters team? You probably already mentally did- but damn it, that won't stop me from trying.

Okay, first thing is that yes stall is annoying. Originally in Whispers in the Dark (I'm going to compare this team to it, if that's cool), Gengar did most of the stall breaking, and now, Jirachi is probably your best bet with that. Of course, the problem with that is that yes you're walled by Blissey. Simple heavy stall is just hard to work around. I too can also see Infernape being a headache, as again really only Gengar stops it if, god forbid, it gets a boost. Thirdly, LO Starmie is a dickface as usual, because, even though Kingdra can set up on him, you will basically always lose your spikes against not only Starmie but most common spinners thanks to Gengar's relative frailty.

So I think a good fix would be to take Heist's edited suggestion, which actually helps solve A LOT of your problems. I'm not going to post you my standard bulky scarf Rotom-w set that you've probably seen a million times over and I think you know know what Mixed Flygon looks like. Firstly, not only do you gain a weapon against stall in Flygon, Rotom can actually trick an important stall pokemon- like Blissey, essentially paving the way for a Jirachi sweep. Secondly, you gain a great answer to Infernape and the previous troublesome Lucario, since priority isn't bringing you down like it would Flygon. And of course it allows you to not have to choose between dying and protecting your spikes. Stall is effectively neutered and offense kept at bay.

And that's of course all I have, obviously an excellent team and you probably weren't counting on this much change. Hope this helps!

P.S. Leech Seed + Protect Shaymin and LO Heatran
 
Nice team, though it does look like it has some trouble will stall and Infernape (somewhat) as others have said. To fix this a bit, I would try running taunt and about 100 speed EVs on Skarmory. Lead Skarmory is excellent and I've found that having only 1 hazard and taunt makes it much easier to get several layers up, while completely shutting down common stall teams. This does mean you lose a valuable move slot on Heatran though. The next thing I would consider is changing Jirachi's EVs. Moving about 76 EVs from speed to special defense allows you to survive Infernape and Scarftran's fire blast, even after stealth rock, and eliminate them. Having shuca berry is great when paired with Dragonite/Tyranitar, but since you have Gengar and Skarmory, there is little need because Flygon's EQ is settup fodder for them anyway. Having lefties makes it much easier to soften Hydro Pumps and Thunderbolts from things that try to revenge after a calm mind or two. Not to mention you can survive scarfgon's Eq anyway with 6 def. The set would be 6 Def/252 SpA/76 SpD/176 Spe. (I'm not just making this up it, really works against Infernape) Anyways nice team and thanks for helping my teams in the past, hope this helps.
 

Aerrow

hunter
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Great team Faladran!

Threats

  • Nasty Plot Infernape
  • Stall Teams
First of all, before I get into the actual rate, I’d like to say thanks for putting me on your shout out! Also, thanks for not making any changes until I got to post my rate, lol. Anyways, this is a great team you have here as in my opinion its almost peaked its excellence seeing as you have most of the threats commonly seen in OU covered. The strategy you’re implementing is also excellent as it is able to put constant pressure on the opposing ranks while also keeping up your teams’ own momentum which is needed for it to achieve a strategic victory. However, I see your team having problems with one Pokemon and one general team strategy: nasty plot Infernape (with vacuum wave) and the generic stall team. I’m pretty sure you know why Infernape as a threat as we discussed this matter on IRC, but I’ll recap the main points here just for the sake of reference. If Infernape is able to get a nasty plot off late in the battle, your only hope of stopping it would obviously be Gengar as it is faster and is immune to vacuum wave, but note that the likes of Scizor and other pursuiters are commonly used with Infernape so chances are that the time Infernape actually gets into the battle Gengar would have been eliminated, allowing the aforementioned Infernape to rip through your team. Next, as previous raters have mentioned, your team is noticeably weak to the typical stall team; I won’t be going into the detail as Heist and Smith have already provided sufficient reasons, and there’ll be no point in repeating what has already been stated.

Solutions

  • Choice Scarf Rotom-W / MysticGar / SubPunch Gengar
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Gengar @ Expert Belt
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 100 Atk/252 Spd/156 SpAtk
Hasty nature (+Spd,-Def)
- Focus Punch
- Hidden Power
- Shadow Ball
- Substitute[/box]
Like I mentioned on IRC, I see a couple of changes that can be made to help with the aforementioned problems, while also being able to support the various needs of your teams’ strategy. Really, to help with the aforementioned threats, you could do one of three things, the first being replacing Gengar with a choice scarf Rotom-W as was mentioned before, as this change can help with Infernape while also presenting a threat to stall teams through trick. Although I agree with this suggestion, there is another I have in mind which I think would be worth trying out; I suggest testing a MysticGar or SubPunch variant over your current one. Both of the mentioned sets have their own merits so I’ll be going into detail as of how the suggested variants can help. Let’s start with the MysticGar set: MysticGar co-incidentally works in a similar way as your current variant although it usually will be able to survive until late in the battle due it being able to defeat it’s primary counters, Tyranitar and Scizor, however opting for Mystic Gar will still leave your team threatened by the generic stall team. SubPunch Gengar can help with this. Although it doesn’t have the ability to survive until the last turn of a battle like the previous set, SubPunch Gengar can help with both Infernape and stall teams; Infernape is handled through obvious plays while the typical stall team will be unable o get through Gengar due to its ability to attack from both sides of the spectrum which allow it to defeat foes like Blissey which would’ve stopped it cold. I really hope this helped and good luck!
 
Alright, time to address some rates. First of all, thank you to everyone who took the time to read through everything. It seems that Infernape and stall can both be troublesome, and every suggestion thus far has been very helpful. I'll be considering some other Gengar sets, but I'm a bit unsure about trying Scarf Rotom / Mix Flygon. I've actually used that combination in the past, and there were a couple of very specific reasons that I decided on Flygon as my revenge killer. Flygon's access to Outrage is great for late-game sweeping with entry hazard support, but it was also useful for checking DD Dragonite and Tyranitar. If I used Scarf Rotom, I would definitely try out HP Ice to take out Dragonite, but Tyranitar would become a big problem for this team to face. All in all, Flygon seems the best choice (no pun intended) for a Choice Scarfer, due to its relative immunity to entry hazards and useful movepool. It also isn't weak to Pursuit like Rotom is, but I need to do some more experimenting to find the best results.
 

Kevin Garrett

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I already gave you a rate on IRC, but I'll make a post highlighting some small changes that can be made. The Gengar set doesn't help you much against stall. It doesn't pack a lot of punch. You should consider making it Life Orb with Pain Split. Hypnosis and Mystic Gengar are cool and all, but with Spikes out I think Focus Blast can do the job on something like Blissey if you play your cards right. That Gengar isn't nearly strong enough to take down complementary stall partners like Hippowdon or Swampert even without significant SpD investment.

The other thing you should do is make Jirachi a Wish Calm Minder. That will give you an extra Pokemon that can beat Blissey. The Shuca Berry and Hidden Power Ground are a waste when you are looking at taking on things like Flygon or Gyarados. Scarf Flygon is easily walled by Skarmory and you have your own Scarf Flygon with Thunderpunch to outspeed +1 Gyarados. You don't need to be concerning Jirachi with beating Heatran because you already have a few good checks in your own Heatran for Scarf variants, Kingdra, and Flygon. Magnezone would not be an issue either because of boosts and recovery.

Good luck with the team.
 

IronBullet

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Hi Faladran,

Nice team, and great presentation! This team does have a few specific threats, but first off I'd like to suggest the addition of Taunt and a Lum Berry to Skarmory's moveset. Taunt allows Skarmory to shut down stall teams attempting to setup hazards, and comes in very handy against leads such as Hippowdom, Swampert and Roserade. Lum Berry allows Skarmory to setup on Roserade and lead Machamp specifically, although it's useful against random Smeargle, Breloom and the like.

On the subject of threats, Mixnape and Life Orb Starmie stand out. Almost nothing on your team can switch in reliably, and you're forced to lock Kingdra into Outrage for the latter. Also, your only hope against Infernape is Flygon, who can be taken out by priority moves if weakened enough. So, I'm going to second Aerrow's suggestion of replacing Gengar with a Scarf Rotom-w. This gives you a check to any form of Infernape and Starmie, and also checks Gyarados, who cam give your team a headache. I'd recommend beefing it up with some HP EVs so a single misprediction won't ruin it. The standard moveset of Thunderbolt/Shadow Ball/Hydro Pump/Trick should work well.

Since Flygon's speedy services are no longer needed, you have a few options for that slot. The first thing that comes to mind is completing you FGW core, and u feel that a Leech Seed Shaymin would keep up with your theme of bulky offense, while also keeping solid synergy and coming with a nice Electric resistance. Leech Seed goes a long way in wearing down opposing teams, and is especially useful vs stall. I recommend packing HP Ice specifically for Dragonite. Another option is Stall-breaker Gliscor. Gliscor provides you with a definite answer to SD Lucario and rips stall to shreds, very appealing for your team. It maintains most of what Flygon brings, and is overall is pretty reliable.

Again, nice team, and good luck!

P.S I am Setsuna's most cherished tutee.
 
I thought the same thing as Smith, this reminded me alot of Undisputed's team.

Kick ass team man, as much as I hate to say it, SubSplit Gar would (imo) work better. It helps you out against both LeadApe and stall. EDIT: god damn it KG beat me to it.

Other than that, sweet team, good work.
 
Ok, I read through everyone's suggestions and made changes to the team. A lot. I'm not going to go into extensive detail, but here is the tl;dr version of everything that I've altered thus far:
  • Added Taunt Skarmory
  • Changed Heatran's set
  • Replaced Flygon with Leech Seed Shaymin
  • Switched Gengar with Scarf Rotom-W
Since so many people were recommending Taunt on Skarmory, I decided to replace Stealth Rock and change the EV spread to gain some extra speed. Heatran is now the Stealth Rock user, and while the loss of a second phazer is slightly disappointing, this change should be quite beneficial. I used PasshoTran to give me an extra precaution against LO Starmie. Scarf Rotom-W is now the spinblocker, and a very solid one at that. I didn't feel that two Scarfers were needed on this team, so I replaced Flygon with Leech Seed + Protect Shaymin, completing my FWG core. I find it quite ironic that I had to have other people suggest some of the sets that I personally recommend so often (lol). Shaymin makes dealing with bulky Waters considerably easier, and Leech Seed is great with entry hazard support. Now that Shaymin's on the team, I was thinking about maybe trying out a different Water-type. Roar Vaporeon came to mind, especially since I'm weaker to DD Tyranitar now, but I have yet to test it so far. Thanks everyone!
 

6A9 Ace Matador

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posting to say you should keep your scarf gon, without it you lose to a couple variants of dd tar sets, mixed and taunt (as well as just normal depending on your sp def skarms set) seems like the shaymin rate is just adding something that's nice as opposed to necessary, since you're also opening up an ape weakness (good luck stopping NP or SD once rotoms gone) and lefties DD nite with just dclaw eq fp DD is screwing you up too (mix is a bitch unless you predict it right with shaymin too!).

so pretty much use flygon unless you want to be left open to those three guys

also, since you're using max hp on rotom w, there's hardly any point in using hydro pump; so just go with WoW. i reckon you should try out max sp atk with either WoW or hpump too and see how you like them, I reckon they're better, you won't get set up on as easy, and it will put the pressure on your opponents trying to switch into spikes + sr more, pump should 2hko ttar with the right amount of layers too, and having a fast WoWers nice, messes up random bulky stuff like zapdos that switch into tbolts and whatever, and having a burnt tars nice for rachi. i also dont see the point of passho on tran, why would you boom on starmie when you have rotom, kingdra and assuming you take my advice flygon too? you're unecessarily risking your sr and spikes getting spun, as well as leaving yourself vulnerable to SD Scizor late game, booming one of the most important mons on your team probably isnt a good idea! i'd say use chople berry for infernape / lucario / machamp / gengar or just give it lefties.
 
Thanks am. I'm getting a bunch of different suggestions and mixed results, so I think the best course of action is just to stick with the original version until I can get some comments from other raters that I messaged. I'll make one round of final changes when I think that everyone I wanted to talk to has seen the team. Some of the changes were helpful, but altering the team's structure too drastically opened up some new difficulties.
 
Ok so get rid of taunt on lead skarm. It doesn't help with anything (I would know). The best thing you're going to do is stop Swampert from getting rocks down, but you could have a layer of rocks and spikes already. The heatran set is pretty similar to sub roar, so you probably know how fun that is. SR tran just isnt the same. Honestly the gengar set just looks out of place. (its a good set though), i just don't think it fits what you're trying to do. To help break stall, I would for sure run 4 Attacks LO (tbolt, explosion, shadow ball, and focus blast). Kingdra looks fine. Too bad a lot more people prepare for chest rest now though. and jirachi really should be a wish cmer. 252 hp / 252 def and youll beat a lot more teams, especially stall.

so yeah. good luck!
 

6A9 Ace Matador

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Undisputed: he's not exactly doing great versus stall, I think taunt skarms fine tbh, other skarms, forrets, hippos, perts, metagross, ttars don't get early sr which gives him the pace advantage, when i tried that skarm i liked taunt BB roost spikes though, but i think that was for shaymin and ape, i guess it could work for you too faldaran. anyway, i definitely don't think using that heatran and gengar is a good choice, both seem out of place on the team.

trick rotom is something you really need on the team to act as a secondery check and pivot for a lot of pokemon, for example lucario who sweeps you with agility or swords dance after skarm/rachi are gone, or gyara who sweeps you after flygons gone, or bulky dd nite, ttar etc. just use max speed sp atk tbolt sball trick hydro pump. without it you also become way scizor weak, he can just superpower at random with cb, or the sder can superpower / bb whenever, then go for a late game sweep (another reason to use rotom, taunt skarm and chople tran x)
 

Setsuna

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Excellent team and excellent presentation, Faladran. Great work!

I can't really suggest much here, since the team as is (considering some of the last changes) is pretty solid. But, I have a couple of ideas in mind that I want to share with you.

To begin with, I personally don't like the idea of removing Flygon and using CS Rotom-W instead -- yes, CS Rotom-W would help out with that lead Infernape problem that this team presents, and would also be a better spinblocker than Gengar, but that's about it. By keeping Flygon you ensure your team will have a reliable way to eliminate via U-turn early-game threats such as LO Starmie and Shaymin, while at the same time being able to get rid of Infernape, Gyarados, and Tyranitar, if need be. Additionally, bear in mind that Flygon is one of the few physical attackers in your team, which is pretty important if you want to somewhat be able to control what Blissey can and can not do to the rest of the party. Now, with that in mind, I suggest you change Gengar's set to Substitute + Pain Split, so that an additional means to beat stall and an extra way to abuse of the entry hazards that Skarmory and Heatran plan to use will be added.

Apart from this, if you'd like to alleviate the problem against offensive variants of Starmie, and the fact that it is pretty risky to change Gengar on a predicted Rapid Spin coming from the aforementioned Starmie, or say, Forretress, then give CS Rotom-W a shot. Don't be afraid to use two Choice Scarf users in the same team, just give it a try and we'll then see what the outcomes are ;)

Again, very good team, and very nice presentation and commentary. Plus, thanks for all the mentions -- you just made my day :)

Good luck!
 

6A9 Ace Matador

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he has HP ground super rachi, skarm, heatran and trick rotom, how exactly does stall "eat" him and how exactly is CM Wish solving it? sounds more like hoping for some retard who cant play pkmn well -.-
 

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Am I right?
 
Hey Faladran,

Sorry on the late rate BR0, but I don't think you will mind! Solid team you got here; you cover most threats nicely and I can only find a weakness to stall teams carrying Forretress. This weakness extends to Starmie and other rapid spinners of course. Nonetheless, taking into account good plays your team can overcome these troubles.

I usually like to start off my rates with offensive threats, but your team is surprisingly not weak to many. So, I'll just start off with threats in general. The only ones I see as potential threats are Forretress, Bulky Dragon Dance Gyarados(no good switch-in), Infernape, Anti-lead Machamp, Agility Metagross(Jolly Nature), Starmie and Swampert. An easy way to fix most of these troubles are using Choice Scarf Rotom over Gengar; note this is the standard way of dealing with things :/. The following set: Rotom @Choice Scarf | Timid Nature | 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe | Thunderbolt / Shadow Ball / Hydro Pump / Trick, would give you safety against Gyarados, Metagross, Starmie, and Swampert. But, leaves you open to a Breloom sweep. I've noticed most people have suggested Rotom, but haven't noticed that Gengar is your Breloom check. As a result I think changing Flygon for Dragon Dance Dragonite would help you patch this. I would use Dragonite @Yache Berry | Jolly Nature | 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe | Dragon Dance / Outrage / Earthquake / Fire Punch. This course of action would keep your Dragon typing, while maintaining balance. Now you might be a little iffy on DD Kingdra, so I suggest using Vaporeon with Roar. Its EVs depend on your preference; you could go standard or go with twash's EV spread to handle special attacks better. Vaporeon will definitely cover that Infernape weakness. This takes me to Skarmory, I suggest using Taunt Skarmory to shut down opposing stall teams that give you trouble. Lum Berry becomes an option, but isn't necessary tbh. Stealth Rock and Spikes is just too much pressure imo. Now, use a Stealth Rock Heatran over your current set; it's Heatran @Passho Berry | Hasty Nature | 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe | Stealth Rock / Flamethrower / Earth Power / Explosion. You need Stealth Rock somewhere, and need a Hasty Nature to take two hits from Rotom, Zapdos, and others. Sorry the last two changes have already been mentioned by others, but just thought to reiterate them to make them part of the overall changes. With these changes, you have covered the threats I mentioned above, while keeping your coverage and synergy.

Well, we just changed three of your pokemon, and I hate changing so many pokemon b/c you lose the feel for your team. So, I will give you another course of action(this one is simple) that keeps your team's structure. I would use CM Wish Jirachi to take care of stall, and have more buff to take Gyarados's Waterfall. Next, use a different Heatran set. This one is a little interesting, while keeping its role. Use Heatran @Leftovers | Calm Nature | 252 HP / 252 SpD / 4 Spe | Stealth Rock / Flamethrower / Earth Power / Roar. It will give you Stealth Rock, more bulk, and keep a phazer. Now, change Skarmory to the Taunt version I spoke about earlier. If you think about it I pretty much nitpicked your team, while making it fend off better against the threats I mentioned at the beginning. For the true nitpicks of this version, I would use 4 Def EVs instead of HP on Gengar to handle the SR switch-in at the end better, just my preference. Oof, I think thats all!

Thanks for the shout out; hope this helps and good luck man!!!
 

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